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Thursday, September 13, 2007

People in Pews Get Insiders’ Report

The following is from an article in the Diocese of Arlington Catholic Herald. The article tells of a "town hall meeting" where Bishop Loverde gave members of Diocese a status report on matters from finances to vocations. You can read the full article here. The Parts I posted below are Bishop Loverde's excellent remarks about supporting vocations, especially in the family.

People in Pews Get Insiders’ Report

By Gretchen R. Crowe
Herald Staff Writer (From the issue of 9/13/07)

It’s you, reader, who keeps this diocese running.That was the underlying current of the third Regional Parish Leadership meeting in two years at St. Veronica Church in Chantilly last week.

Accompanied by diocesan staff, Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde assembled with priests and lay parish leaders to give updates on diocesan finances, to foster dialogue between the Chancery and community members and, specifically this year, to focus on vocations and each person’s individual responsibility to say “yes” to the call of Christ.


But the faithful are not only funding the diocese, they are feeding it spiritually by encouraging vocations, something of which Father Brian Bashista, diocesan director of vocations, said he hopes to see more. Families — the “soil” of vocations — play a large role in that encouragement, Bishop Loverde said. “I want to encourage you who form families in our diocese to make those families as best you can, filled with values that are rooted in Christ,” he added. “There’s no perfect family, but every family has the privilege and challenge of being more and more like the holy family. And within those families God is calling.”

The main thing, the bishop said, is to be open to saying “yes” to God’s call in the same way that Jesus Himself said “yes.”“Our ‘yes’ must echo His,” he said.In this way, the bishop added, the people in the pews serve the Church not only financially and by encouraging vocations, but by being witnesses to Jesus Christ to everyone they encounter in order to attract new followers.“We do that differently according to each one of our vocations,” he said. But in order to do this, those gathered also must continue to be evangelized.And no matter what, all initiatives, whether diocesan projects, encouraging vocations or witnessing to Christ, must be rooted in holiness, the bishop said.“Every one of us is called to be holy, to be Christ-like,” he said. “Therefore holiness isn’t reserved for priests, for religious, for deacons. Holiness is the call to each one of us.”

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